Food Combinations that Harm Your Stomach

Choosing your food combinations wisely can allow you to enjoy better digestion and avoid problems like feeling heavy or excess gas.
Food Combinations that Harm Your Stomach
Elisa Morales Lupayante

Written and verified by the pedagogue in physical education and nutritionist Elisa Morales Lupayante.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

There are some food combinations that may harm your stomach. Lots of people like to combine different flavors and textures when they prepare their meals.

While it might seem insignificant, there are certain food combinations that can harm your stomach. Basically, they make you feel heavy with lots of acid production and gastric reflux.

Regardless of the time of day or how rushed you are, it’s important to think about the right foods to consume if you want to take care of your digestive system – and of course, maintain a healthy weight.

If you’ve been suffering lately from feeling swollen, heavy, or having stomach pains after your meals, today we want to make you aware of some food combinations that may harm your stomach.

The benefits of the right food combinations

When you combine the right foods it can really improve your digestion and the health of your body in general:

  • Lots of combinations cause food to ferment inside the stomach. By avoiding this, you’ll also avoid stomach pain, gas, and uncomfortable swelling.
  • You’ll have more energy because your body will produce fewer toxins.
  • You’ll prevent heartburn.
  • Your immune system will be stronger because you are better able to absorb nutrients.
  • You’ll be better able to control your weight.

Food combinations that harm your stomach

Proteins and carbohydrates


Breaking down both of these food groups requires full utilization of both alkaline and acidic gastric fluids.

When you mix them, they neutralize each other and create a real bomb for your gut, which interferes with normal digestion.

  • Protein and carbohydrates require different times and methods for digestion. When you interrupt the natural processes, you’ll find you experience stomach pain, indigestion, and heartburn.

Visit this article: Tips to eat less carbohydrates

Two types of protein

Mixing two types of protein within a single meal creates a very heavy combination for your stomach, causing the time it takes to digest your food to almost double.

The longer it takes to process your food, the more your digestive system is compromised and the more energy you lose.

  • That’s why it’s not a good idea to mix fish with red meat or chicken in the same meal, for example.

Protein and starch


When you eat these ingredients together you tend to not feel full, causing you to consume larger quantities and slowing down your digestion.

Starch starts to ferment inside your stomach and the protein breaks down, supplying gas to your intestines and generating that heavy sensation you know so well.

  • Your best bet to counteract the carbohydrate and protein enzymes is by adding green leafy vegetables or starch-free vegetables to your meals.
  • A salad made with lettuce or watercress is a great way to reduce these side effects.

Sugars and starch

When you eat sugars mixed with starch, the saliva you produce is lacking in ptyalin, which delays digestion of the starch once it reaches your stomach.

That means that the sugar lingers in the stomach until the starch is digested, and eventually the sugar begins to ferment.

Fermented sugars cause the production of acids that interfere even more in the breakdown of the starch.

Sugar and fats


While you might not think so, sugar is a lot easier to digest than fat. When you mix the two together the process slows down even more than usual.

  • Foods like sweetbreads, ice cream, and smoothies are the number one enemies of digestion.
  • Smoothies made with fruits, like bananas, are some of the worst culprits because they generate gas, feelings of heaviness, and harmful toxins.

It’s also not a good idea to mix acidic fruits with dairy products like milk and yogurt, because they alter your digestion and immune system health, causing coughing, nasal congestion, and allergies.

Fruits combined with other foods

The best way to eat fruits is without any other types of food.

Sugars in fruit help speed up the fermentation of your foods, which can lead to indigestion and poor absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Did you know that these food combinations can harm your stomach?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ortega FB, Lavie CJ, Blair SN. Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease. Circ Res. 2016 May 27;118(11):1752-70. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.306883. PMID: 27230640.
  • Freeman CR, Zehra A, Ramirez V, Wiers CE, Volkow ND, Wang GJ. Impact of sugar on the body, brain, and behavior. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2018 Jun 1;23:2255-2266. PMID: 29772560.
  • Warrilow A, Mellor D, McKune A, Pumpa K. Dietary fat, fibre, satiation, and satiety-a systematic review of acute studies. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2019 Mar;73(3):333-344. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0295-7. Epub 2018 Aug 30. PMID: 30166637.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.